Junior Achievement of the Desert Southwest, Inc.

Boundless Possibility

aka Junior Achievement of El Paso   |   El Paso, TX   |

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Junior Achievement of the Desert Southwest, operating under the name Junior Achievement of El Paso (JA), serves as a local branch of Junior Achievement USA. As one of over 100 JA affiliates nationwide, JA of El Paso contributes to the largest organization dedicated to empowering youth with the knowledge and skills necessary for economic success, future planning, and making informed academic and economic decisions. JA programs are crafted to inspire young individuals, offering them insight into the opportunities and challenges of contemporary work and life. Our primary objective is to equip youth for real-world scenarios, teaching them wealth generation, effective wealth management, and the creation of impactful jobs that enhance community resilience.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Mrs. Elizabeth Terrazas

Main address

200 Bartlett, Suite 104

El Paso, TX 79912 USA

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NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

El Paso, Texas has a population of just over 850,000 people. The city's median household income is just above $40,000 per year compared with a Texas average of about $50,000. Further, over 23% of the city lives at or below the poverty level. Many children who come from these areas are in danger of staying in the cycle of poverty. JA programs offer youth the opportunity to see beyond their circumstances by providing financial education and exposure to the professional world. Unfortunately for most of these disadvantaged youth, our programs are the only chance they have to make lasting connections to benefit their professional life. Through an innovative partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers, JA helps young people connect with relevant learning and the importance of staying in school. JA inspires students to develop competitive skills and confidence. Their success bolsters the local workforce and ultimately contributes to economic growth.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Junior Achievement educating students for success

Starting at the elementary school level, Junior Achievement programs utilize age-appropriate curricula to educate children on their potential to influence their surroundings as individuals, workers, and consumers. These programs extend into middle, high school, and beyond equipping participants to navigate upcoming economic and workforce challenges. Facilitated by community and corporate volunteers, our programs integrate real-world perspectives, offering the participants valuable role models and mentors for life beyond graduation.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Junior Achievement of the Desert Southwest, Inc. dba Junior Achievement of El Paso (JA) is dedicated to equipping young individuals with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in today's global economy. Our overarching goal is to empower the youth of the El Paso region and beyond to embrace their economic potential and achieve lasting success.

We accomplish this mission through a range of dynamic programs designed to ignite a sense of curiosity and enthusiasm in young people. Our flagship program, JA Inspire, has not only met but exceeded expectations, allowing us to significantly expand our reach and impact. By harnessing the power of digital platforms, including virtual and online content, we've been able to engage and educate an even larger number of students across nine West Texas counties.

As the landscape of education evolves, our commitment to financial literacy education remains unwavering. Recognizing the growing importance of financial literacy in today's world, we've embraced innovative digital approaches to ensure that this crucial knowledge reaches as many young minds as possible. Our focus goes beyond imparting practical skills; we strive to instill the mindset and confidence needed for students to envision their economic success and transform their "I can't" into "I can."

At the heart of our success lies the dedication of our volunteers. Their real-world experience brings authenticity to our programs, reinforcing the lessons with practical insights. By offering our JA programs in various formats—whether in-person, blended, or virtual—we ensure that we can cater to the diverse needs of students, allowing flexibility without compromising quality.

Our efforts are centered around preparing youth for the challenges and opportunities of the real world. Through interactive, experiential programs, we guide students in generating wealth, managing resources, and applying entrepreneurial thinking to their future careers. These programs cultivate workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, equipping participants with valuable skills and insights to explore diverse career pathways.

Ultimately, our mission revolves around the success of the students we serve. By transforming their perspectives, behaviors, and aspirations related to money, education, and work readiness, we are helping them shape better futures for themselves and their communities. As we continue to adapt and innovate, Junior Achievement of El Paso remains steadfast in its commitment to preparing young individuals to confidently own their future economic success and unlock their boundless possibilities.

At our organization, Junior Achievement (JA), we are deeply committed to aligning with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal #4: Quality Education, and Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. Our strategies for achieving these goals revolve around our comprehensive programs that empower students with essential knowledge and skills, fostering a strong foundation for their future in terms of education and employment.

Under Goal #4: Quality Education, JA's programs are tailored to provide students with relevant and interactive experiences that contribute to their financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship skills. Through our partnerships with corporate and community volunteers, we ensure that our programs offer practical insights into free enterprise, business, economics, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers. By instilling an appreciation for these subjects, we believe we can substantially enhance the overall quality of students' lives.

Furthermore, we recognize the evolving educational landscape and have adapted our approach to meet the changing circumstances. Our programs are designed to be versatile, offering options for in-person, blended, or virtual delivery, thus ensuring accessibility and continuity in various learning environments.

Addressing Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, JA places significant emphasis on preparing students for the workforce by imparting practical career information and encouraging early engagement with career pathways. Our portfolio of kindergarten to 12th-grade programs is designed to foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy skills. Through experiential learning, we inspire students to aspire for their full potential and encourage them to dream big.

Moreover, our commitment extends to young adults aged 18 to 25, as we recognize the significance of equipping this demographic with the skills necessary for meaningful economic participation. By offering a range of age-appropriate curriculum, JA ensures that youth have the financial knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions that positively impact their financial well-being.

In conclusion, Junior Achievement is dedicated to advancing both Quality Education (Goal #4) and Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal #8) as outlined in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Our programs, delivered by volunteers from various sectors, provide students with relevant and practical skills, fostering their readiness for the workforce and nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit. Through experiential learning and adaptable program delivery methods, we are committed to making a substantial contribution towards these vital sustainable development goals.

Junior Achievement (JA) is a stalwart community organization in El Paso, dedicated to empowering young minds and nurturing their growth since 1967. Our extensive experience and commitment have left an enduring impact, serving over 142,000 youth to date. Year after year, we continue to make a meaningful difference, reaching between 6,500 and 11,000 students annually. In the academic year 2022-2023 alone, our programs reached 11,260 students across the El Paso area, illustrating the effectiveness and relevance of our offerings.

At the heart of our mission lies the goal of equipping young individuals with essential skills and knowledge for success in a complex world. This mission is championed by our dedicated board and passionate staff who share a vision of empowering youth to face challenges with resilience.

While we take pride in our accomplishments, our aspirations extend further. JA's proven programs have ignited a collective desire to expand our impact. We envision reaching an even larger segment of our youth population, firmly believing that well-prepared young individuals contribute not only to their personal growth but also to the overall betterment of our community.

The core of our expansion lies in our capacity-building initiative. Recognizing the power of partnership, we seek collaboration to amplify our impact. This is an integral part of our journey, enabling us to reach more students, train dedicated volunteers to deliver impactful programs, and empower youth to shape their lives and the community's future.

In summary, our capabilities are evident not only in our history and reach but also in our unyielding dedication to growth. We share the conviction that a strong educational foundation is pivotal for a prosperous future.

We're delighted to share the remarkable achievements of our organization thus far. Over the course of the fiscal year 2022-2023, our dedicated team has made a significant impact on the lives of 11,260 students. This accomplishment exemplifies our commitment to empowering and educating the next generation.

Our successes extend beyond individual student engagement. On a national scale, we are honored to have received the prestigious JA USA Peak Performance Team Award for the 2016-2017 period. Out of only 18 JA Areas across the country, our organization was recognized for its exceptional performance in achieving growth in students reached and contact hours delivered. This award underscores our unwavering dedication to both educational excellence and financial stability.

Moreover, our commitment to operational excellence and sustainability was acknowledged through the 4 Star Award bestowed upon us for the 2020-2021 period. This award from JA USA is a testament to our adherence to operational standards, including compliance, student impact, operational efficiency, financial stability, and sustainability.

As we look ahead, we are excited to build upon these achievements and continue making a positive impact on the lives of even more students in the future. Our organization remains resolute in its mission to inspire, educate, and empower the leaders of tomorrow.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback


Junior Achievement of the Desert Southwest, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Junior Achievement of the Desert Southwest, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Aracely Ramirez


Term: 2018 - 2024

Board co-chair

Mr. Ian Sparkman

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Term: 2019 - 2025

Aracely Ramirez


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Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/22/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/22/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.